Letter to the Editor: Congratulations to The Buchtelite for Receiving the 2019-2020 Rupert Latture Memorial New Student Organization Award


Julie Cajigas

The members of The Buchtelite Staff during the Fall 2019 semester.

By Julie Cajigas, Faculty Advisor

To the editor:

As the Advisor of The Buchtelite, my voice is not published in the paper, but instead supports the voices of the students by helping them grow in their understanding and application of professional and ethical journalistic principles.

Today, I’d like to break with that in submitting this letter to the editor. I am doing so to congratulate the staff of The Buchtelite on winning the Rupert Latture Memorial New Student Organization Award as part of the 2020 LIFE Awards at The University of Akron.

This award is sponsored by Omicron Delta Kappa, according to a statement from their organization:

“Omicron Delta Kappa presents the Rupert Latture Memorial New Student Organization Award in memory of one of the Founders of ODK, who envisioned a society in which leaders from all facets of the University could come together to positively impact not only the University, but society as a whole.

This award recognizes a nascent organization that is flourishing, shows promise of a successful future, and positively impacts and engages students. This year’s recipient is a student-operated newspaper and website that was founded in 1889.”

So why is the more than 130-year-old student paper receiving an award for being a ‘nascent organization?’

This is the first time in the modern history of the paper, as best we can determine, that it has been a recognized student organization at The University of Akron. Previously, it operated as an independent media outlet.

In 2017, The Buchtelite mounted a revival with students at the helm, and the 2019-2020 editorial staff applied for the paper to become a recognized student organization at The University of Akron.

While still serving as the independent voice of the students, the paper will now be able to participate and benefit from the rich community provided by The University of Akron’s student life department and its new colleague student organizations.

In addition to establishing the paper as a student organization, the staff this year has been frequently recognized with Best of Student News Organizations (SNO) website awards for student news, and have continued to develop the independent student voice of The University of Akron.

As advisor, I am most proud of the student editors and reporters for striving to cover less-frequently heard stories and to amplify the voices of the university’s historically underrepresented communities.

I am also proud that campus constituents can get The Buchtelite delivered to their inboxes weekly, as well as read more in-depth coverage of the campus in the quarterly magazine-style issues. The online presence of the paper has been expanded significantly by the current staff.

Congratulations to Megan Parker, Editor-in-Chief, for her leadership in having the paper recognized as a student organization, as well as her hard work in recruiting, mentoring and supporting the staff. This is her senior semester, so I would like to congratulate her on all of her accomplishments at The University of Akron.

Congratulations to our staff: Kaitee Horstmann, Copy Editor; Elizabeth Heckler, Social Media Editor; LeKesha Parkman, Special Editions Editor; and this year’s staff news contributor, Alyssa Alexonshk.

Thanks also to our volunteer arts and entertainment contributor, Fabiana Mosquera; our volunteer news contributor Katie Shuber; our volunteer news & sport contributor, Tyler Lane and our news and opinion contributor, Enrique Antonio.

I foresee a bright future for the paper as a recognized student organization, and a voice of the students at The University of Akron.